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get style-wise

Some essential terms you'll need to know are:

  • Chignon: a tight knot at the base of the head, the Evita look. Can be a wound braid or plain, ponytail. Perfect for any type of hair.
  • French Braid: three-stranded braid woven close to the head, gymnast-style. Good for out-of-control locks.
  • French Twist: the twist-and-fasten look, like a hot dog bun on the back of your head. Despite that unappealing description, a timeless, elegant option.
  • Bun: a ponytail wrapped around itself, usually at the top of the head. The ballerina look, very flattering if you have a long neck.
  • Updo: a generic term for any upswept look. Usually with loose tendrils of hair framing the face.

Wedding Hairstyles: Choosing a Hairstyle

Don't know your chignons from your French twists? Allow us to straighten things out -- and help you decide how to wear your hair on the big day.

Tousled by relatives, nuzzled by the groom, immortalized in family photo albums, the bride's 'do plays a starring role in the nuptial festivities. Don't know a French twist from French toast? Read on!

Make a Match

A bride's hair should complement her gown, not compete with it. The formality of your outfit is key and should dictate the direction you go with your hair. For a chic, modern ensemble like a pant suit or a simply cut dress, either slick back hair or wear it in a sleek blow-out. For country wedding-type looks -- peasant dresses, high-waisted frocks, or any other period-influenced cut -- either wear your hair in loose curls-- maybe sprinkled with small flowers take well to curly hair -- or tied it back. Big ball gown style dresses look best with dramatic updos.

Use Your Head

Be sure to find an effective way to attach your headpiece -- if you have one -- to your hair. Wide-toothed combs just aren't going to cut it with straight and fine hair; have the store replace them with finer combs. Wavy and curly hair are more suited for headpiece staying power -- use bobby pins, barrettes, or combs, whatever works for you. Unless you have the budget to have your hair styled twice (and quickly, the second time!), make sure the 'do you choose goes well both with your headdress and without.

Shine On

The number one most important aspect of a bride's hair is shine. Straight hair by nature tends to look glossier, but any flyaways will automatically ruin the effect. To combat this common dilemma -- especially prevalent in the winter -- rub a sheet of Bounce directly on your hair, or simply spraying it with an anti-static spray. For wavy and curly hair, which are prone to brittleness and dullness, slather on a moisturizing conditioner before you begin styling, and then use a shining serum to add gloss.

Length Matters

Obviously you're limited by the length of your hair, but then again, biology is there to be conquered.

If you have short locks: There are some seriously sexy and glam looks for short-haired brides. The mini barrette look is a sweet option for a twenty something bride; use gel to slick the front of your hair down, fastening one or two barrettes in strategic places. Tousle the hair on the back of your head for a wild contrast. An elasticized, fine-toothed headband is another simple-but-chic look. Just pull one through your hair and -- voila -- the pixie look.

If you have long locks: If you decide to wear your hair up -- a wise choice in the summer or if your hair is prone to frizz or mood swings -- there are many wonderful 'dos you can do. Scour fashion magazines, consult with your hairdresser, and ask friends for help with trying styles out.

Petals, barrettes, buns or wigs -- whatever you decide, find something that suits you and the overall style of your dress and the wedding.

-- The Knot

See More: Wedding Hairstyles